The Fiat 500 was introduced in 1957 as a successor to the Topolino model. (Topolino means ‘mouse’). The designer was named Dante Giacosa, an individual who would later become an automotive legend for his contributions to the industry. The 500 was a two-seater, rear engine, utility car that was built as an economical means of transportation void of luxury items or sports-car intentions. It featured a 479cc overhead valve engine mated to a four speed gearbox. With 18 horsepower the 500 never set any land speed records. It had a top speed of 85 km/h. The 500 endured a successful life span due to it economical size, excellent fuel economy, easy to repair, styling, competitive price, and city-friendly driving characteristics. Due to its small size, it was easy to navigate and drive in the small, Italian streets. Thanks to its short wheelbase and length, the vehicle could maneuver easily into cramped parking spaces. Seats 4.
Journalist and author L. J. K. Setright described it “the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car”. The Citroen Deux chevaux remained on the market from 1948 to 1990 thanks to Flaminio Bertoni’s inspired design. In The ‘30s the new Citroen management asked the project department to design a car that was able to “transport a paesant wearing clogs and 50 Kg of potatoes, or a wine keg and have suspension to go across irregular grounds without breaking a basket of eggs”. The T.P.V. (Tre Petite Voiture, French for very small car) project was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. For this reason Citroen destroyed 250 pre-models to save them from the Nazis. In the spring of 1944 another Italian, Walter Becchia, designed the engine. At the Paris Motor Show in 1948 the car made its debut as 2CV. Seats 4.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the GTV sports coupe transcends time with its elegant yet sporty lines that have made it one of the most sought-after collectibles. You sense its Italian craftsmanship upon the first glance. The GTV chassis started life in 1963 with the Giulia Sprint GT, which delivered 92 hp from a 1,570cc engine. It later turned into the Sprint GT “Veloce” (GTV) in 1965. Two years after that, Alfa released the GTV 1750 with a 1,779cc engine sporting a heftier 122 hp. In 1971, Alfa made subtle changes to the body and upgraded to a torquey 1,962cc engine delivering an extra 10 horsepower. The GTV 2000 was born. With its updated power plant, few other cars could bequeath this magnitude of enjoyment. With non-assisted steering and a highly balanced chassis, you’re at one with the road. Simultaneously, the unmistakable Italian exhaust notes send chills down your spine. Drive it and you instantly want one. Seats 4.
The MGB was Britain’s best-selling sports car and offered as both convertible and coupe’. It has every single ingredient of the classic British roadster. Production began on May 1962 and replaced the MGA. Production continued until October 22, 1980. The chassis was constructed of a unibody structure that reduced weight, improved strength, and reduced manufacturing costs. Zero-to-sixty took just over 11 seconds thanks in-part to the three bearing, 1798 cc engine that produced just under 100 horsepower. In 1964 the engine was improved to a five-bearing crankshaft which improved the vehicles reliability.
When the MGA had been announced in 1955, it had set new standards for MG in terms of performance and styling, but by the beginning of the 1960’s it had become slightly out-dated. Sports car design had moved up a gear, particularly in terms of comfort and the prospective sports car buyer was demanding more sophistication than the MGA was able to deliver. For MG’s sake, the replacement needed to offer better performance and a greater degree of comfort. History has now shown that the new car did have these features, for it was the venerable MGB, a car which was to sell over five times the numbers of MGA. Like the Austin-Healey Sprite and later the MG Midget, the MGB was to be of unitary construction which brought a number of advantages. The design of the body was such that the individual panels when welded together, produced box-like structures of immense strength. The engine and transmission came directly from the MGA, but the b-series engine had been increased in capacity to 1789cc, which resulted in 94bhp, and a diaphragm clutch was used between the engine and transmission. As standard, the car was supplied with bolt-on steel disc wheels, similar to those of the MGA but of a slightly smaller diameter. The MGB was extremely well received by the press who were fulsome in their praise of the new car, which was capable of exceeding 100mph without any fuss. Performance handling and economy were all of a high standard for the time, which resulted in a thoroughly reliable sports car that was a joy to drive. It found a ready market, particularly in the USA. Seats 2.
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